Why invest in TPM?
Why do organisations need TPM?
Many fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies recognise the potential of analytics and are adopting data hub or data lake architectures to unlock its value. They understand that a comprehensive analytics solution that incorporates various data sources, such as trade promotion management (TPM) data and sales data from ERP or Nielsen, can be more valuable than the individual components when utilised by the right individuals.
Where do we typically find organisations on the pre-TPM journey?
Inadequate data management
Whilst organisations recognise the benefit of advancing their data and analytics capabilities, investing in technology and data scientists alone is not enough to ensure success on this journey. The accuracy and quality of the data play a crucial role. This process often fails when companies integrate powerful analytical tools with spreadsheets and other manually maintained sources of information.
To protect the integrity of analytical workstreams, data lakes require appropriate front-end applications. TPM systems prove to be effective solutions in the commercial space as they serve as the single source of truth for in-store activities, pricing, promotional plans, trade terms across products and customers, and more. The data is validated upon entry and TPM systems provide users with an easy way to maintain the data, avoiding the limitations of CSV or Excel files.
A well-implemented TPM solution seamlessly connects the business process with the data requirements of the analytics process, offering a smooth experience at both ends.
Whilst TPM is recognised for improving ROI on trade investments and increasing visibility and control, there is often organisational resistance due to concerns about resource-intensive and costly IT programs. Although these concerns may be valid, successful TPM implementations are possible through effective change management. By emphasising early value and simplifying complexity, businesses can overcome apprehensions and drive successful TPM adoption. Through careful planning, clear communication, and a focus on tangible benefits, organisations can navigate the implementation process smoothly, ensuring that the transition to TPM is positive and delivers value for the business.
The benefits of TPM, both expected and additional
TPM software has evolved beyond its traditional role of managing promotions, now offering comprehensive commercial planning. Organisations are increasingly seeking features like scenario planning, risk analysis, and forecasting that span across the entire profit and loss statement. Indeed, implementing TPM brings various unexpected additional benefits: In today's landscape, modern FMCG account managers are data-driven and analytical, but they still need user-friendly tools and accurate data to make informed decisions and achieve their targets. Having a user-facing application simplifies onboarding and training for new employees and improves capability within sales teams. Moreover, it fosters cross-functional collaboration by aligning marketing and sales plans, segmenting user roles, and providing up-to-date information, playing a vital role in integrating the planning processes of FMCG companies.
So you know you want a commercial planning tool - what can you do about it?
When it comes to selecting a vendor to partner with, there are a few common approaches to consider. If you are still in the learning stage and exploring options, Request for Information (RFI) is the preferred choice. It allows you to gather valuable insights and learn more about potential vendors. On the other hand, if you have reached a point where you are ready to make a decision, Request for Proposal (RFP) is the recommended path. It enables you to solicit detailed proposals from vendors and evaluate their offerings.
However, it is important to strike a balance and keep the process as simple as possible. While it's essential to gather relevant information and evaluate vendors thoroughly, there is a risk of over-engineering the process, which can lead to unnecessary complexity and delays. By focusing on the key requirements, maintaining clear communication, and avoiding excessive bureaucracy, you can streamline the vendor selection process and make informed decisions efficiently.
To simplify the process, we recommend a five-step approach that emphasises a focused scope, from the initial assessment to final provider selection:
What do great implementations have in common?
When it comes to successful TPM implementations, there are a few common factors that make all the difference. First and foremost, having the right person leading the charge is key. They'll bring the expertise and enthusiasm needed to drive the project forward. Clear success criteria are also essential to keep everyone focused and on track. It’s also important to use an iterative and agile approach, which allows for flexibility and continuous improvement. However, there's a crucial factor that serves as the linchpin for a successful implementation: committing to change management. We've consistently witnessed its role in ensuring success - By getting early buy in from key stakeholders, taking users along the journey and actively involving them and listening to their feedback, you lay the foundation for a successful implementation. Their insights and perspectives are invaluable in shaping a system that caters to your team's needs.
Below are the outlined steps involved in effective change management, including immersing the organisation in the process, using the new tool in existing processes, improving how work is done, and continuing to embed and evolve the process within the business. Mastery is an ongoing process of continuous learning and building within your business.
The intelligent people hired in the FMCG industry don't fear change, they fear bad change, as well as processes designed without their understanding. Change management is not just training at the end of the process, but a way to engage the business throughout the process whilst aligning them to the high-level objectives of the program, so it's important to engage the business from the earliest possible stage. The amount of effort, resource and support you need to put in this area should not be underestimated.
This article provides a summary of a live discussion between Acumen Global Account lead, Tom Quinn, and Senior Consultant, Adam Cecil, who brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles in FMCG. To hear the full conversation, follow the link below. If you're considering investing in TPM, please do download our free guide to learn the 4 steps to deliver a successful implementation.
Acumen are a revenue management consultancy and SaaS provider, helping consumer products companies make smarter, more profitable decisions through a combination of pricing, promotions, and mix management optimisation. Speak to one of our consultants here to find out how we can help your business make more profitable decisions.